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The Occupation of Ruhr by the French triggered a domino effect of failures and problems that indirectly contributed to the inexorability of a second world war. The issue of reparations and the extent of the effects of the Ruhr crisis comprise “an excruciatingly tangled thicket into which only a few intrepid explorers have ventured.” However, if one must venture into this tangled thicket, one must plot a course that will show the clearest way to untangle it and take out the unnecessary weeds. In this sense, because the post-war period and the Ruhr crisis involve a lot of events and activities, one must sort through this stream of information and pick out only what is relevant. That is to say that the course exhibited in this paper is not the only explanation as another person may view the events in a different light and may go through a different route. Furthermore, the Ruhr Occupation and World War II are separated by sixteen long years; and so, it is very difficult to say for certain that the former caused the latter. Hence, this paper will attempt to show a complete analysis of the significant chain of events that explains why the Ruhr Crisis made a great contribution to the inevitability of a second world war through a shift or a regression in the European balance of power.
France’s failure to achieve her goal of industrial expansion through the Occupation of Ruhr proved to be catastrophic as it not only drove a wedge between Britain and France and diminished her power in Europe, but it also created a chain of events that led to Germany’s reinforced supremacy that tipped the balance of power in her favor and the latter’s thirst for revenge that contributed greatly to the inevitability of World War II.
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